Depression is one of the most prevailing health conditions of the 21st century, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. The illness does not discriminate. It is a leading cause of workplace disability and represents a large financial burden for many families. Consequently, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases’ mental illness funding initiative have co-funded a five-year implementation project to optimize clinical care.
The new tool uses a deep-learning computer vision system and motion-classification algorithms to capture events such as falls in real time, alert caregivers and give health-care professionals the information they need for immediate triage.
The system—developed in part by the Multimedia Research Centre led by Irene Cheng in the Department of Computing Science—transfers real-time video to an autonomous computer vision lockbox. If an event is detected, the system alerts a specified caregiver and provides a redacted video of the event.
Now, a research team at the École de technologie supérieure is developing a technology-based solution to help nurses and doctors distinguish important signals in the ICU: a ‘smart’ earplug for hospital care practitioners. This summer, they’ve engaged an international research intern — through a Mitacs Globalink internship — to help bring the technology one step closer to a care unit near you.
This summer, Mitacs Globalink intern Anton Gladyr, an undergraduate student from Ukraine, is working under the guidance of Professor John Kildea to expand the app’s functionality. Anton is developing a user-friendly interface that will collect data from patients as they undergo treatment.
In collaboration with University of Waterloo-Mitacs researcher, Yael Zilberman-Simakov, LeNano's portable device tests blood for a specific biomarker, a type of protein, elevated by the onset of heart failure. “If a patient has a higher-than-usual concentration of the biomarker, they are at an increased risk of having heart failure,” says Yael. “Similar to how glucose levels should be monitored among diabetic patients, this type of protein needs to be checked every day.Compared to a lab test, personal test devices like LeNano's are faster, simpler, and more convenient.
The company is a spin-off from McMaster University and was created “organically,” says InnovoGENE CEO Kha Tram. It all started when Kha was completing his PhD at McMaster and was looking to develop technology that could quickly identify E. coli in food. He realized the same technology could be used to rapidly test bacteria in water — and InnovoGENE was born.
With the help of his Dalhousie Accelerate supervisors, Professor David Roach from the Rowe School of Business, and Professor Jan Haelssig from the Faculty of Engineering, Hamed has started a company to develop technology that will make continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy more comfortable for patients.
Ottawa’s branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), in partnership with the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, has launched a unique program called “Familiar Faces” to overcome this problem.
Since 2014, the initiative has increased communication between hospitals and community-based mental health organizations to identify the ER’s familiar faces, pinpoint where they need more support, and direct them to agencies that can help. In partnership with Mitacs Accelerate, the project has been able to take another important step: research and evaluation.
From there, new protocols for screening and handling blood products were enacted to prevent the spread of these diseases through blood donation programs.
Over 30 years later, infectious diseases such as Zika and West Nile virus pose new challenges for the safety of blood donation around the world; however, a partnership between a multidisciplinary team of researchers at Université Laval, Quebec-based Phytronix, and international biotechnology firm Waters Corporation could revolutionize screening technology for donated blood products.